Sumit Malik one win away from Olympic qualification; Amit Dhankar, Satywart Kadiyan ousted

In his 125kg Qualification bout against Kyrgyzstan's Aiaal Lazarev, Malik was trailing 1-2 till the last 25 seconds but got a push-out point towards the end and won on criteria, when the scores were tied at 2-2.

Kadiyan won his pre-quarterfinal 5-2 against Evan Amadour Ramos from Puerto Rico.   -  PTI

Sumit Malik gave a series of fine performances to reach the semifinals of the 125kg freestyle category on the opening day of the World Olympic Games wrestling qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Thursday.

Two other experienced Indians in fray, Asian medallist Amit Dhankar (74kg) and Commonwealth Games medallist Satyawart Kadian (97kg) had disappointment in store.

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The stocky 28-year-old Malik, a Commonwealth Games champion and an Asian championships silver medallist, fought back to beat Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan and Alexandr Romanov of Moldova by an identical 2-2 margin, via criteria, and make it to the quarterfinals.

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He again rallied to defeat Rustam Iskandari of Tajikistan 10-5 to reach the semifinals.

In the last four, Malik needs to get past Jose Robertti of Venezuela to qualify for the Olympics.

Dhankar lost to Mihail Sava 9-6 in the first round and subsequently went out of the medal race when the Moldovan faced defeat in the next round.

Kadian beat Evan Ramos of Puerto Rico 5-2, but lost to Ahmed Bataev of Bulgaria 5-5, via criteria, in the quarterfinals.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) in men’s freestyle and Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) in women weights have qualified for the Olympics.

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